Monday, January 22, 2018

Blog Tour Review - About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @avonbooks

I am so excited to share my review today as part of the blog tour for About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis.  I have really enjoyed all of the books and novellas in the Heartbreaker Bay series and About That Kiss is a wonderful addition to the series.  

About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #5
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Date Read: January 20, 2018
Length: 384 pages
Source: Edelweiss

When love drives you crazy . . .

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

… is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.
My Review

This was great!  I am really enjoying this series and this book was no exception.  This is the fifth book in the Heartbreaker Bay series but it could easily be read as a stand alone since it does tell its own story.  I would warn new readers to the series that you will want to read the other books in this amazing series as soon you finish this one just because you will want to spend a little more time with these amazing characters.  I had a lot of fun spending time with the group and watching Joe and Kylie find their happily ever after.

Joe and Kylie are the focus of this book.  I have been waiting to read Joe's story since I love his character.  I really was curious about what his story was and this book did not disappoint.  We get to learn a bit about Joe and Molly's history in this book and it wasn't anything I could have expected.  It was great to really get to know Joe.  Kylie was also a wonderful character.  I thought that her past was just as interesting as Joe's.  Neither Joe nor Kylie has had an ideal childhood but they are both strong individuals that have been able to move past it.

I loved Joe and Kylie together.  I loved it every single time they were together in this book.  The chemistry between them was intense.  It wasn't just about the chemistry because they really had fun with each other.  It seemed like they were both people that really needed a true friend that they could count on and they filled that role for each other.  There were a few more comical moments in the story and I really enjoyed seeing them laugh together.

They mystery in the story was well done.  Kylie asks Joe to help her find the wooden penguin that her grandfather gave to her.  Sounds easy right?  Well, it was anything but easy.  This pair spend a lot of time together checking out leads and going on the occasional stake out.  Things go wrong from time to time but they are both determined to figure out what is going on.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I found this book to be an absolute delight to read and I couldn't get enough of Joe and Kylie.  I can't wait to watch another couple find love in Heartbreaker Bay!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

The Series - Heartbreaker Bay

Book #1 - Sweet Little Lies - My Review
Book #2 - The Trouble with Mistletoe - My Review
Book #2.5 - One Snowy Night - My Review
Book #3 - Accidentally on Purpose - My Review
Book #4 - Chasing Christmas Eve - My Review
Book #4.5 - Holiday Wishes - My Review
Book #5 - About That Kiss - Available January 23, 2018!
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #103

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

My Life
This wasn't a great week.  We had to say goodbye to our sweet Sassy.  She hasn't been healthy for a while but it was still very hard to say goodbye.   We adopted her from the local shelter in 2003 so she has lived with us for a very long time.  She was at least 17 years old.   She had a few behavioral issues but was a very sweet cat that we loved very much.  We liked to call her the best worst cat ever.

Sassy spent many hours helping me read over the years and this was a pretty common view for me.   I am going to miss my helper.  My youngest daughter is a junior in high school and doesn't remember a time when we didn't have Sassy.  It seems strange not to have a cat in the house.  I do have 3 dogs so it is anything but quiet and we are adjusting.

Books for Review
About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis (Edelweiss)

I will be reviewing this one on Monday.  I decided to wait to download it from Edelweiss until I was ready to start reading.  I am enjoying it and probably would have finished it but I didn't get as much reading done this week as normal.

Books Won
If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar (LibraryThing Early Reviewer)

I won an ARC of this book from LibraryThing.  I really don't remember entering but I am sure that I did because the book sounds amazing.  This is my kind of book and I am looking forward to reading it.

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Review - Slammed by Victoria Denault @BooksbyVictoria @ForeverRomance

Slammed by Victoria Denault
Series: San Francisco Thunder #2
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Date Read: January 12, 2018
Length:  336 pages
Source: Publisher
Not every goalie plays it safe...

As a publicist for the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, Dixie Braddock is too busy rescuing the players from trouble to get into any of her own. Except, of course, when it comes to the super hot new goalie. Because when a guy's kiss curls your toes and sets your heart on fire, how the hell do you just walk away? But if anyone ever catches them together, she'll lose her job faster than any slapshot.

Eli Casco is on the brink of having everything he ever wanted. He's finally been called up from the minor leagues to play on a championship team. And he just had the most mind-blowing night with the woman of his dreams. But now that he's an official Thunder player, Dixie is determined to keep her distance. None of the fame and fortune means anything to him without her to share it. If he truly wants Dixie in his life, it's time to throw down his gloves and put everything on the line.
My Review

Oh my gosh.  This book.  I loved this book!  When this book made its way to my house, I really hadn't heard much about it.  One look at that yummy cover and I bumped it close to the top of my reading schedule.  I took another look at the cover and noticed the hockey stick and was completely sold so I decided to forget about reading schedules and just started reading this book.  And I didn't want to stop.  I fell completely in love with this book and am so happy that it made its way into my hands. 

This story focuses on Dixie and Elijah.  Dixie works in the PR department at the San Francisco Thunder hockey team.  Her brother is a star player on the team but Dixie is keeping that little piece of information under wraps.  Elijah, or Eli, is an up and coming hockey player.  His brother is the captain of the San Francisco Thunder and Eli is a goalie for their minor league team. 

Dixie and Eli are fantastic together from the very start.  I could almost feel their chemistry dripping off of the pages before I even finished the prologue.  I wanted to see these two figure out how to be together from the very start.  Dixie works for the Thunder and is very dedicated to her job which happens to have rules about employees dating players.  Eli doesn't play for the Thunder so a little flirting couldn't hurt.  Oh boy, how these two flirt!  Their flirting was a lot of fun.  It was sexy at times and often funny.  They pass cheesy lines back and forth which I found completely amusing. 

There is some drama in the story but I loved how there was never any doubt as to what Dixie and Eli felt for each other.  Eli has some issues to deal with from his past which kept things interesting while Dixie had some serious family issues to handle.  Dixie and Eli had things going on in their life but they always wanted each other.  They just had to figure out a way to make that happen.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  It had the perfect mix of romance, heat, and humor to really keep the pages turning.  This is the second book in the San Francisco Thunder series but I read it as a stand alone with absolutely no problem.  This was the first time that I have read Victoria Denault's work but I am looking forward to reading more from her in the near future.

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing).
About the Author

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in L.A. but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Audiobook Review - I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Narrated by Robertson Dean
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: August 14, 2007
Date Read:  January 12, 2018
Length:  5 hours 19 minutes
Source: Purchased - Audible
In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Every other man, woman, and child has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?
My Review

This was good!  I really didn't have this book on my radar until recently.  Sure, I saw the movie with Will Smith but I honestly wasn't all that impressed with it.  I knew that the movie was based on a book but didn't really feel the need to pick it up.  When Audible had their 20th anniversary celebration a few months ago, they offered this book free to members so I snatched up a copy.  I was in the mood for a shorter listen recently and decided to go with this book and I really ended up enjoying it.

So when I started this book, I thought it was a zombie book.  I don't even know what I am doing some days.  This is not a zombie book.  I guess I really didn't pay all that much attention to that Will Smith movie after all because this is a vampire book.  In my defense these vampires are almost zombie-like in a whole lot of ways.

Robert Neville is alone.  He is the last person around in a world full of vampires.  He spends his days gathering supplies and staking the vampires that he finds.  He spends his nights locked in his house trying to ignore the vampires that gather outside his home.  He does this every day and is utterly alone.  He does some research to try to figure out the cause of the outbreak and to learn as much as he can. 

This was the first time that I have listened to Robertson Dean's narration and I really did enjoy it.  I thought that his voice was perfect for Neville and he brought the right amount of emotion into the story.  I thought that he had a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I would not hesitate to choose another book narrated by Robertson Dean.

I would recommend this book to others.  It is a great story about a man trying to navigate the world alone.  I am quite sure that this audiobook will have a much more lasting impact on me than the movie did.  I do hope to read more of Richard Matheson's work in the future.

About the Author

Richard Matheson was The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It…, and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Audiobook Review - White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland
Narrated by: Allison McLemore
Series: White Trash Zombie #5
Publisher: DAW / Audible Studios
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Date Read: January 1, 2018
Length: 11 hours 18 minutes
Source: Purchased - Audible
Angel Crawford has buried her loser past and is cruising along in undead high gear—that is, until a murder-by-decapitation sends her on a hazardous detour. As Angel hunts for the killer, she uncovers a scheme that would expose zombies to the public and destroy the life she’s built, and she’s determined not to rest until she finds out who’s behind it.

Soon she’s neck-deep in lies, redneck intrigue, zombie hunters, and rot-sniffing cadaver dogs. It’s up to her to unravel the truth and snuff out the conspiracy before the existence of zombies makes headline news and she’s outed as a monster.

But Angel hasn’t quite escaped the pill-popping ghosts of her past—not with an illicit zombie pharmaceutical at her fingertips. Good thing she’s absolutely sure she can handle the drug’s unpredictable side effects and still take down the bad guys…or maybe she’s only one bad choice away from being dead meat—for real this time.

Angel knows a thing or two about kicking ass, but now the ass she needs to kick might be her own.
My Review

I had a lot of fun with this one!  I had a bit of a rough time with parts of the previous book in the series so I was really happy to have such a good time with this one.  This is the fifth book in the series and I do think that this is a series that needs to be read in order.  A lot of things that happened in previous books played a big role in this story.  I listed to this book for hours at a time and even found myself cleaning things around the house just so I could listen a little bit longer.

Angel is not in the best place at the start of this book.  Becoming a zombie has really forced her into cleaning up her life but in this book she finds that she isn't immune to everything.  Eventually others figure out what is going on and she is able to get some help.  I really liked seeing Angel deal with her demons.  She wasn't always nice and likable but I enjoyed spending time in her mind as she try to work through things.

There is a mystery at the core of the story that Angel is trying to figure out.  She sees a few things while recovering a body with her job at the morgue that leads her to believe that she may know the culprit.  All of this is going on a the same time a big zombie movie premier is the big event in her hometown.  With everyone running around dressed as zombies and zombie hunters, there is no shortage of entertainment in this book.  There is plenty of excitement in this installment and Angel finds herself in a few rather dire circumstances.

Allison McLemore is the voice of Angel.  I honestly could not imagine experiencing this series in any other way but audio.  She really brings Angel to life and does a great job with the other characters as well.  I like that she can express Angel's emotions through her reading and is able to add a bit of excitement to the action scenes.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  I think that Diana Rowland has created a wonderful group of characters that are a lot of fun.  I love her unique take on zombies and I look forward to listening to the next book in the series very soon.

The Series

Book #1 - My Life as a White Trash Zombie - My Review
Book #2 - Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - My Review
Book #3 - White Trash Zombie Apocalypse - My Review
Book #4 - How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - My Review
Book #5 - White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
Book #6 - White Trash Zombie Unchained
About the Author

Diana Rowland has lived her entire life below the Mason-Dixon line, uses "y'all" for second-person-plural, and otherwise has no southern accent (in her opinion.) She attended college at Georgia Tech where she earned a BS in Applied Mathematics, and after graduation forgot everything about higher math as quickly as possible.

She has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she's seen more than her share of what humans can do to each other and to themselves. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can't rollerblade to save her life.

She presently lives in south Louisiana with her husband and her daughter where she is deeply grateful for the existence of air conditioning.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Releases - January 16, 2018 #newreleases #newbooks

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:

Light It Up by Nick Petrie

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
In the newest action-packed thriller starring war veteran Peter Ash, a well-planned and flawlessly executed hijacking reveals the hidden dangers of Colorado's mellowest business, but Ash may find there's more to this crime than meets the eye.

Combat veteran Peter Ash leaves a simple life rebuilding hiking trails in Oregon to help his good friend Henry Nygaard, whose daughter runs a Denver security company that protects cash-rich cannabis entrepreneurs from modern-day highwaymen. Henry's son-in-law and the company's operations manager were carrying a large sum of client money when their vehicle vanished without a trace, leaving Henry's daughter and her company vulnerable.

Then, when Peter is riding shotgun on another cash run, the cargo he's guarding comes under attack from hijackers and he narrowly escapes with his life. As the incidents mount, he has to wonder: for criminals as sophisticated as these, is this money really worth the risk? And if not, what about his cargo is worth more?

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn

Find it at:
Veronica Speedwell returns in an adventure filled with betrayal and deception from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries.

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly-discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. The disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed.

Soon Veronica also has to contend with sordid details and malevolent enemies that have emerged from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats, Veronica must unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything…

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it's Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor's diagnosis.

Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we're willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it's time to let go and save ourselves.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review - Light It Up by Nick Petrie @_NickPetrie_ @PutnamBooks

Light It Up by Nick Petrie
Series: Peter Ash #3
Publisher: Penguin Group - Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Date Read: January 14, 2018
Length: 400 pages
Source: NetGalley

"Lots of characters get compared to my own Jack Reacher, but Petrie's Peter Ash is the real deal."--Lee Child

In the newest action-packed thriller starring war veteran Peter Ash, a well-planned and flawlessly executed hijacking reveals the hidden dangers of Colorado's mellowest business, but Ash may find there's more to this crime than meets the eye.

Combat veteran Peter Ash leaves a simple life rebuilding hiking trails in Oregon to help his good friend Henry Nygaard, whose daughter runs a Denver security company that protects cash-rich cannabis entrepreneurs from modern-day highwaymen. Henry's son-in-law and the company's operations manager were carrying a large sum of client money when their vehicle vanished without a trace, leaving Henry's daughter and her company vulnerable.

Then, when Peter is riding shotgun on another cash run, the cargo he's guarding comes under attack from hijackers and he narrowly escapes with his life. As the incidents mount, he has to wonder: for criminals as sophisticated as these, is this money really worth the risk? And if not, what about his cargo is worth more?

My Review

I enjoyed this book!  This book reads like an action movie in a lot of ways.  It was exciting and there are so many adrenaline filled scenes that keep the excitement level high.  This is the third book in the Peter Ash series but I do think that it could be read as a stand alone since it tells its own story.  I had such a good time reading this book and found it to be quite the page turner.

Peter is such a great character.  I almost think that he can do anything after reading this book.  He is smart. resourceful, and incredibly tough.  I am not sure that a real man could do all the things that Peter was able to accomplish in this book but I don't care since it was such a fun read.  Peter must deal PTSD as a result of some of the things he has seen and done as a Marine.  For Peter, this manifests as claustrophobia and he cannot stand to be inside for long which adds an interesting twist to things.  Most of this book happens outside so it didn't come up quite as much in this installment but there were a few scenes where it did come up.

The mystery in this book was interesting and fairly complex.  I can tell you that I had no idea how things would work out.  There were some people that I didn't trust as much as others but I had no idea how they might be involved.  This was a multiple layered mystery and as soon as one puzzle was closer to being solved another would begin.  The legal cannabis industry was a big part of the story which thought provoking. It was really nice to read such an original and unique story.

I enjoyed seeing a couple of characters from previous books play a role in this story.  Lewis has been around since the first book and he is back for some action again in this story.  I really enjoy seeing Lewis and Peter work together and think that they make a really great team.  June played a big role in the last book and plays a key role once again.  I really liked seeing the development in their relationship in this installment.  There were some new characters in this book as well.  The chapters that were from told from the point of view of the culprits were my least favorite parts of the book simply because I didn't enjoy spending time in their heads.

I would recommend this book to others.  This is a great installment to an exciting and action packed series.  Once I got started reading, I didn't want to set the book aside because I had to know how Peter would save the day.  I can't wait to read more from Nick Petrie!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group - Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons via NetGalley.

The Series
Book #1 - The Drifter - My Review
Book #2 - Burning Bright - My Review
Book #3 - Light It Up
About the Author
Photo: © Troye Foxe
Nick Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington, won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and his story “At the Laundromat” won the 2006 Short Story Contest in the The Seattle Review, a national literary journal. A husband and father, he runs a home-inspection business in Milwaukee. His previous novels in the Peter Ash series are The Drifter and Burning Bright.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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